\m/ Power Metal Fan \m/
Mar 22, 2006
San Antonio Texas
ICED EARTH mainman/guitarist Jon Schaffer has issued the following statement:

"Hello, dear friends!

"Once again the winds of change are upon us, and this time I can say that I am very happy about the result.

"While out on the European tour I had several in depth discussions with many loyal ICED EARTH fans. A common theme of these discussions was how much Matt is missed. I agreed with the fans that things were not the same and that it was a very special period in ICED EARTH's history.

"When I heard several months ago that Matt [Barlow] was going to be doing a project in music again, I was thinking about contacting him and seeing what his intentions were. I didn't act on this because I was so focused on the writing of the new epic, and frankly, it just didn't seem realistic.

"Well, after getting out on the road and speaking with many of you directly, I decided to call Matt and see how he was doing and if he was interested in working together again. I am proud to say that he is coming back to ICED EARTH and we will be getting back to work in the studio very soon.

"Matt will be singing on Part 2 of the 'Something Wicked' concept CD and we will be looking forward to getting out on tour and delivering a series of ICED EARTH shows that will rival any in the history of the band. And there will be a proper DVD filmed from this period, something we’ve all been waiting for.

"I want you all to know that it was you who made this a reality. I have missed Matt's presence onstage and in my personal life in a big way over the past few years, so I appreciate your honesty in our discussions. It did help me realize the decision to move forward with pursuing this. The fans have spoken and we have delivered!

"You true fans know that I'm a straight shooter, I say what I mean and mean what I say. And though I value your opinions greatly, you must believe that this is a decision that comes completely from the heart and is not motivated by anything other than what feels the best for ICED EARTH. This is the way that things have always been dealt with, for better or for worse, but always honestly and from the heart.

"Tim Owens is a great and talented singer and I wish the best for him and his future on a personal and professional level.

"There will be more news soon as to further developments and plans. This will push back the release of Part 2 a bit. Not because we couldn't be ready to record in time, but because of a new addition to Matt's family in early 2008!

"I am very happy to announce that ICED EARTH is truly BACK!"

Have a great holiday season. We’ll be in touch very soon with more details.

Jon Schaffer
I think Jon should have though about it more. Since Tim was on the latest album Something Wicked Trilogy Part One. When part two comes out it's gonna throw it off. These albums were written for Tim's Vocals. Don't get me wrong though Matt is a great singer and is the voice of Iced Earth.
Holy crap.

Tim is an amazing singer, but I can't get over the fact when I listened to the album all I could hear was Rob Halford singing. I guess I just wish Tim had developed a more unique sounding style of his own. Anyway, with Matt back it'll seem more "Iced Earth" to me. Good news for fans of Iced Earth, but yeah to go with what someone wrote above, it sounds to me like Tim was probably pushed out without much notice.
I think Jon should have though about it more. Since Tim was on the latest album Something Wicked Trilogy Part One. When part two comes out it's gonna throw it off. These albums were written for Tim's Vocals. Don't get me wrong though Matt is a great singer and is the voice of Iced Earth.

I gotta agree with this. Matt may have been an important cog at one time, but I find his vocals boring, grating, irritating. I think Tim was the better vocalist, with much more room to grow, and go.

Matt did have great hair, though.
Jon Schaffer comments further on lineup change.

It will be sometime before I'm going to be doing press due to the holidays and the fact that I'm still deep in the final writing process of Part 2.I'm aware that the news of Matt coming back into to the band has taken many people by surprise so I'll try to explain the situation a little better. I do love Tim's voice and it is the kind of voice I hear when I write, and he's really cool person. And I do not want an unnecessary war of words started because certain journalists like to create controversy to sell their magazines. I love Tim as a person and a musician, and I do not have negative feelings towards him at all. We would all appreciate it if the trash peddlers would respect the situation and keep their venomous speculations to themselves. An unlikely request I'm sure, but it would be nice

On the other side, Matt and I are brothers and there was a very deep and spiritual connection that came through in the music that we created and performed together over the years. Iced Earth has always been about passion and honesty in the music, I'm talking about real, raw emotion. That's what has always made the relationship between the band and the fans a very special thing and it is the thing that made the chemistry that Matt and I had together so special. When we split before, our relationship had suffered from various things, but mostly it came down to not communicating like we should have, which led to things being blown out of proportion. This, coupled with the uncertainty of earning a secure living in the music business, resulted in Matt coming to the decision that he did. I convinced him to stay in the band, which he did, but it was clear that while tracking TGB, he was already mentally finished with music and was moving on to different things and to a more secure future. All of that is behind us and we have grown and matured and will have an even more fulfilling relationship because of what we've experienced and learned from the past.

Iced Earth activities will be more limited now because Matt will still be carrying on his career as a law enforcement officer. I would rather we do it this way and have the shows that happen be very special events than to carry on and feel like what's happening isn't genuine. This is NOT a cut on Tim. It's just that Iced Earth really began to blossom after Matt joined the band and for years we worked our asses off together towards a common goal, on stage and off. Those years of work and commitment defined what Iced Earth truly is, and frankly I would rather end it than to carry on without Matt involved. All of this has been coming to a head for a while, and the talks with the fans in Europe helped cement what I already knew needed to happen. It's one thing to be pressured by our business partners for change, it's something else entirely when the fan base is overwhelmingly telling me the same thing. This decision is by the fans/for the fans. I wish only the best for Tim, this is not a standard bullshit statement, it's the truth. A guy with so much talent deserves the best in life and that's what I wish for him completely.

Jon Schaffer